As they say “It’s not what you know but who you know that makes the difference.”
Here are some tips on using online social networking to increase your business:
1. Join sites that interest you, so you will have fun participating. Pick sites that will you a chance to showcase your expertise.
2. When you sign up, make sure you are a REAL person! Don’t be “sxychk2008” or “businessmama.” Use your real name – NOT your company name because it feels like you are selling your business. After all, how can people do business with you if they cannot find you?
3. Actively participate by commenting on discussions and starting your own discussions. Be careful that you do not shove your business down everyone’s throat!. Your profile is about what you do! When you can weave your expertise into a discussion, then you build your business credibility. Remember: you are there to be social first. Your business can grow because you “play” according to the site users’ interests!
4. Spell check all your posts! Type your posts in Word, and then copy and paste! Depending on how serious you are.
5. RSS your blog to your personal page if at all possible, and then people can learn more about you. If you cannot do that, at least post the link!
6. Get a quality picture of yourself and use it – it will go everywhere you post. A good picture should showcase the “real you.”
7. Post comments on others’ discussions.
8.. Be careful who you become “friends” with – do your homework first.
9. Make sure you get e-mail reminders if people comment on your discussions or leave messages for you! You do not want to forget, you want to be prompt, and it’s a good way to remember to check out what’s going on on the site regularly!
10. Show up! Social networks will not help you grow if you do not show up! Plan to be on the site at least three times a week.